Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center

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Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are tracking how rare plants are responding to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Responses

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research

News

Date published: June 8, 2018

Keeping Track of "Caly"

Caly isn't likely to wonder off off, but with a remote camera and monitoring station online 24-hours a day, USGS and partners at the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawai‘i, and the USFWS can learn how an extremely rare plant is responding to changes in environmental conditions.

Date published: November 22, 2017

Sniffing Out Better Tools for Addressing Avian Botulism

Dogs have great olfactory abilities and wildlife biologists think they can help endangered waterbirds in Hawai‘i. Dogs are being trained to sniff out the endangered ducks (koloa maoli (Anas wyvilliana) and Laysan ducks (A. laysanensis)) that die of avian botulism. 

Date published: July 10, 2017

Hawaiian Birds Rapidly Colonize Young Restoration Forest

Forest birds on the island of Hawaii are responding positively to being restored in one of the largest, ongoing reforestation projects at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, according to a new study released July 10 in the journal Restoration Ecology.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Floristic and climatic reconstructions of two Lower Cretaceous successions from Peru

Climate during the Early Cretaceous in tropical South America has often been reconstructed as arid. However, some areas seem to have been humid. We reconstructed the floristic composition of two tropical stratigraphic successions in Peru using quantitative palynology (rarefied species richness and abundance), and used the abundance of aridity vs....

Mejia-Velasquez, Paula J.; Manchester, Steven R.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Quiroz, Luiz; Fortini, Lucas B.
Mejia-Velasquez, P. J., S. R. Manchester, C. A. Jaramillo, L. Quiroz, and L. Fortini. 2018. Floristic and climatic reconstructions of two Lower Cretaceous successions from Peru. Palynology 42:420–433.

Year Published: 2018

The risk of rodent introductions from shipwrecks to seabirds on Aleutian and Bering Sea islands

Accidental introductions of rodents present one of the greatest threats to indigenous island biota, especially seabirds. On uninhabited remote islands, such introductions are likely to come from shipwrecks. Here we use a comprehensive database of shipwrecks in Western Alaska to model the frequency of shipwrecks per Aleutian and Bering Sea island,...

Renner, Martin; Nelson, Eric; Watson, Jordan; Haynie, Alan; Poe, Aaron; Robards, Martin D.; Hess, Steve C.
Renner, M., E. Nelson, J. Watson, A. Haynie, A. Poe, M. Robards, and S. C. Hess. 2018. The risk of rodent introductions from shipwrecks to seabirds on Aleutian and Bering Sea islands. Biological Invasions 20:2679–2690.

Year Published: 2018

Density estimation of sound-producing terrestrial animals using single automatic acoustic recorders and distance sampling

Obtaining accurate information on the distribution, density, and abundance of animals is an important first step toward their conservation. Methodological approaches using automatic acoustic recorders for species that communicate acoustically are gaining increased interest because of their advantages over traditional sampling methods. In this...

Sebastián-González, Esther; Camp, Richard J.; Tanimoto, Ann M.; Monteiro de Oliveira, Priscilla; Lima, Bruna Barreto; Marques, Tiago A.; Hart, Patrick J.
Sebastián-González, E., R. J. Camp, A. M. Tanimoto, P. M. De Oliveira, B. B. Lima, T. A. Marques and P. J. Hart. 2018. Density estimation of sound-producing terrestrial animals using single automatic acoustic recorders and distance sampling. Avian Conservation and Ecology 13 (2):7.